ISSUE 5 / 2016


  • Tomasz Lisowski : Ojcze nasz (Our Father ) – a translation – a prayer. The problem of deritualisation of the language of Polish translations of the Bible

    The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the process of deritualisation of the language of contemporary Polish translations of the Bible on the example of a culture-based text, that is Our Father [Mt 6:9–13]. It was initiated by the translators of Biblia Tysiąclecia (the Millennium Bible) [1965], who radically broke with the traditional linguistic form of this fragment of the New Testament.

    The analysis assumes the terminological discrimination used in the more recent research on the specificity of linguistic phenomena in religious communication: the language of religion as a semiotic code and religious language as one of the signs within the code. From this perspective, Our Father, the text of the prayer used in church rituals and said as part of private piety, needs to be considered a text-formula falling into the conceptual sphere of the term the language of religion. Contemporary Polish translations of the fragment of the Gospel According to St. Matthew 6:9–13, in turn, which prioritise the most adequate communication of Biblical contents possible with a language that is fully understandable to the contemporary reader, fall into the sphere of the concept religious language.

    Selected contemporary translations of Our Father were subject to a linguistic analysis consisting in identifying the distribution of Polish equivalents of the original Greek New Testament. This allowed the following conclusions:

    1. Our Father, as a fragment of the Gospel According to St. Matthew, is treated by the contemporary translators of the Holy Scriptures as an integral part of the Biblical text, subject to the principal translation rule, that is faithful rendering of the sense of the Greek original with linguistic devices of contemporary Polish, the consequence of which is a radical departure from the traditional archaic form of the prayer.

    2. The traditional form of Our Father, the origin of which dates back to the Bible translations by Jakub Wujek [1593] and Daniel Mikołajewski [1632], which is linguistically archaic today, has become a sign of the language of (Catholic and Protestant) church rituals as a prayer text-formula, which is not subject to modernisation.

    3. The process of deritualising Our Father has still been in progress, the effect of which is new Catholic, Protestant, ecumenical translations of the prayer (and the Holy Scriptures) that are independent of the code of religious rituals.

  • Krystyna Długosz-Kurczabowa : Biblical linguistics. On certain functions of language in the Biblical message

    The object of this paper is an analysis of fragments of the Bible which refer to language and its functions either in a metaphorical, indirect, not straightforward manner or in a direct, straightforward manner.

    The Bible provides the answer to the questions about the origin of language (glottogony), its functions and principles of use. The multitude of such functions is noticeable: creational and denominative (onymisation), integrative and differentiating, evolutionary and stabilising, performative (causative), axiological, manipulative, magical, symbolic, expressive (emotional), prophetic and eschatological, ecclesial and sacral, theandric, etc. They require further research and analyses. Familiarity with and respect for the principles of Biblical linguistics could be helpful both in private and social life of a human being.

  • Stanisław Koziara : Phraseology in the Bible. The Bible in the Polish language phraseology
    This paper is an attempt at describing selected aspects of the part of Biblical heritage that concerns established word combinations the nature of which is idiomatic. The author perceives this class of Biblisms in broader categories than the type and scope traditionally assigned to them among established and conventionalised units of language. The study demonstrates a dual approach. On the one hand, it points to the origin and status of this type of units within a canonical text, while on the other hand, it concerns the paths along which they permeate, the forms of their presence and functioning in both old and contemporary translations of the Bible into Polish and in the area of various variants of Polish (general, literary, colloquial, media). The approach presents the results of the author’s own research in a synthetic manner and refers to the present state of research on the issues discussed in this paper.
  • Waldemar Chrostowski : „Gdy Bóg przemówił po grecku” (“When God Spoke Greek”). Septuaginta (The Septuagint ) as a certifi cation of fundamental linguistic transposition
    The name Septuagint originally referred to the translation of the first collection of the Hebrew Bible, that is the Torah, into Greek. It later comprised also various books incorporated into it: the translation of other two collections, that is Prophets and Writings. Later, seven other books, translated from Hebrew or written in Greek, were added to the Greek version of the Jewish sacred books, which is when the same name was given to all books, which – by analogy to the Hebrew Bible – gained the status of the Greek Bible. It was an extremely bold and, in many ways, a totally unprecedented translation undertaking, which exerted a permanent influence on the European and global culture. The Septuagint was the basis of the New Testament, written and accepted in Greek as a record of Jesus Christ’s life and activity as well as the birth and establishment of Christianity. It was a significant bridge between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament also because it considerably contributed to rapprochement between the Judaic and Hellenic cultures. This paper discusses the origin and impact of the Septuagint as well as its specificity.
  • Anna Kuśmirek : Plays on words in Biblia hebrajska (the Hebrew Bible)
    The Hebrew Bible, in its both prose and poetic layer, is abundant with diverse direct and indirect plays on words, which are applied to a varying degree in individual books. This paper presents selected examples of plays on words from the Hebrew Bible. They are discussed by three categories. The first group identifies homonymic puns and repetitions (e.g. cāpār wāʼēper – ‘dust and ashes’ [Gen 18:27]) and the second – polysemantic puns (e.g. different understanding of the word bêt, the basic meaning of which is ‘a house’). The relationship between proper names and a play on words is discussed separately. The conclusion presents the main functions of plays on words. Unfortunately, this significant element of the works by the authors of the Bible is in most cases impossible to render in translations of the Bible as a play on words is usually lost in translation, as is the thought it expresses. In spite of that, its adaptation was attempted also in Polish translations, e.g. the famous play on words from the Hebrew text Gen 2:23, which occurs between iššāh – ‘a woman’ and ̓iš – ‘a man’ [Gen 2:23].
  • Mariusz Leńczuk : An Old Polish translation of Hymn św. Pawła o miłości (St. Paul’s Hymn to Love) from the manuscript no. 1399 from Biblioteka Książąt Czartoryskich (the Princes Czartoryski Library) in Kraków, part 1
    The object of the description is the Old Polish translation of St. Paul’s Hymn to Love from manuscript no. 1399 from Biblioteka Książąt Czartoryskich (The Princes Czartoryski Library) in Kraków. This paper contains the history of the manuscript, a description of the contents of the manuscript, and the edition of the Old Polish transliterated and transcribed text with comments. The first part of the paper describes the history of the manuscript from which the translation is derived and the manuscript itself in detail. The author refers to the research carried out by Stephen Christopher Rowell, who commenced studies of the manuscript in 2003. They have not been noticed by historians of the Polish language to date. The cause of this situation could be the limitations related to the low popularity of the journal where the relic was published, to the language of the publication – English, and to the method of preparing the transliteration. The second part of the paper is the edition of the manuscript 15th-century translation of St. Paul’s Hymn to Love prepared in accordance with Zasady wydawania tekstów staropolskich. Projekt(Principles of publishing Old Polish texts. Draft) [Górski et al. 1955].



  • Małgorzata Platajs : The activity of the Bible Society in Poland as regards translations of the Bible into Polish and their popularisation


  • Martyna Sabała : „Białostockie Archiwum Językowe” (“The Białystok Linguistic Archives”) no. 14, Białystok 2014
  • Weronika Piotrowska : Halina Pelcowa, Słownik gwar Lubelszczyzny (Dictionary of Lublin regional dialects), vol. II, Rolnictwo: transport wiejski, rośliny okopowe i paszowe, gleby i rodzaje pól, uprawa lnu i konopi, zbiór siana (Agriculture: rural transport, root and fodder crops, soils and types of fi elds, cultivation of fl ax and hemp), Lublin 2014